War Birds to take Rapids’ Skies on Saturday
By Jacob Mathias
A collection of World War II era military aircraft or war birds will be on display and in flight above Alexander Field of the South Wood County Airport on Saturday.
The war birds are brought in by Rapids-based H.J. Aviation, the fixed-base operators or managers of the airport. The show is Saturday, Aug. 29 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Five planes will be on site for viewing and tours. Planes on site include a B-25 bomber, AT-6 Harvard trainer, Vultee BT-13 trainer, Ryan BT-22 trainer and a L5 “flying jeep.”
“They’re interesting. It’s part of our nation’s history,” said FPO Manager Howard Joling. “A lot of people are interested in it. A lot of people don’t know a whole lot about what went on during World War II.”
Joling said it’s possible the B-25 may not arrive depending on maintenance. The other planes are fully inspected and safe for flying.
The event is free to the public for those who just want to watch. Visitors can also fly in the planes for about a half hour though it is expensive with flights ranging from $95 to $450 per person depending on the plane.
Costs Per Flight
“The bomber costs $2,000 an hour to operate so they don’t do it for free ya know,” said Joling.
Funds raised will be donated to the Angel Flight and Highground Veteran’s Memorial Park in Neillsville, Wis.
Members of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 706 will be serving a pancake breakfast to visitors for $7. The EAA is an international organization of flight enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wis.
This is the third World War II War Birds show hosted by H.J. Aviation. Joling said they’ve brought the show every other year. In year’s past, up to 2000 people have attended.
A car show will also be on site.
Alexander Field and the Wood County Airport is located at 3620 1st St. S, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.